The San Antonio Spurs began their regular season with a dud. Following their 129-102 loss to the Charlotte Hornets (see the Grades) at home at the AT&T Center, the Spurs will look to bounce back against the Indiana Pacers on the road.
Versus the Hornets, the Spurs were led by Keldon Johnson’s 20 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals in 30 minutes. San Antonio will need Johnson to play well again if they have any hope of getting a win tonight. They’ll also need a better showing from Devin Vassell, who shot just 3-for-15 in the opener.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
It looks like head coach Gregg Popovich has settled on a starting lineup. Along with Keldon Johnson at small forward and Devin Vassell at shooting guard, Popovich is starting Tre Jones at point guard, Jeremy Sochan at power forward and Jakob Poeltl at center.
As bad as the Spurs were against the Hornets, there’s no obvious reason to change the starting lineup. For that reason, expect Popovich to stick with this starting five.
San Antonio Spurs Injury Update
The Spurs have no injured players on the roster. Keldon Johnson, Joshua Primo, Josh Richardson and Zach Collins all missed games in the preseason but everyone is healthy going into the second game of the regular season.
Times to Get Harder for San Antonio
If the Spurs don’t get a win tonight in Indiana, it could be a long time before they are able to put one in the W column. After their game against the Pacers, the Spurs have 12 straight games against teams who are projected to make the playoffs this season. That stretch includes games against the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers.
Pacers Also Looking for First Win
Like the Spurs, the Pacers are expected to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. Also like the Spurs, the Pacers began their season with a loss. Their defeat came at the hands of the Washington Wizards by a final score of 114-107.
Against the Wizards, the Pacers were led by Tyrese Haliburton. The 22-year-old had 26 points, seven assists and four rebounds in 36 minutes. Rookie Bennedict Mathurin, the sixth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, had 19 points, seven rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes.
The focus for the Spurs tonight will unquestionably be on Haliburton. He’s the player that makes the Pacers go. If they can’t slow him down at least a little bit, it’ll be a long night for San Antonio.
Betting Guide: Spurs at Pacers
The Pacers are favored by 1.5 points against the Spurs. The smart money will be on the Pacers to cover. The Spurs didn’t look good in their season opener — and that was in front of their home fans. On the road, things won’t get any easier.
The Pacers will have the best player on the court in Haliburton, who is already a proven playmaker. The Spurs, on the other hand, are still searching for players who are able to pick up the playmaking slack after the departure of Dejounte Murray. Add in their defensive struggles against the Hornets and the Spurs are definitely a work in progress on both ends.